O’Keeffe aims to impress
STEVE O’KEEFFE will tackle Conor McGregor in a highly-anticipated featherweight battle at Cage Warriors 45 in February, and the Londoner says the bout has left him feeling more excited than any other has in his professional career to date.
O’Keeffe took his record to 5-1-0 at Cage Warriors 44 at the HMV Forum in London back in October when he defeated Dean Reilly inside a minute.
The 25-year-old will be back at the Kentish Town venue on February 18 to face what’s likely to be the toughest challenge of his career so far in the shape of Conor McGregor.
“This is definitely a really tough fight,” said O’Keeffe. “But then again, a fight is only as tough as you make it. I’ve made a few fights hard for myself in the past but I’ll be looking to impress on Europe’s best stage in February.
“I’m more excited about this fight than I’ve been about any other fight. I’m really trying to up my game now so this will be a good test.”
O’Keeffe knows all about his opponent Conor McGregor (9-2-0), a big-hitting 23-year-old Dubliner with a reputation for early finishes – seven of his nine wins have come inside the first round.
O’Keeffe said: “I think the obvious thing about Conor is his aggression. He seems to hit hard but, at the end of the day, it’s an MMA fight and you’re wearing 4oz gloves; all the punches hurt.
“He comes out fast and he does it well. But a good grappler might like that. I’ve finished fights pretty quickly too and I’ve been into the third round, whereas Conor hasn’t. Come fight-day I’ll be ready for whatever Conor comes at me with.”
With the Cage Warriors featherweight belt likely to be up for grabs in 2012, a win for either O’Keeffe or McGregor could push them closer to a title shot.
O’Keeffe added: “I’ll definitely be looking towards the Cage Warriors strap as soon as Ian Dean thinks I’m ready for a shot.
“I take every fight as it comes, but in my eyes that is my next goal - winning the Cage Warriors featherweight title.”
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